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Thursday, September 2, 2004

Review - Stealing of a Nation

Artist: Radio 4

Posted on Thu, Sep 2, 2004 at 4:00 AM

Stealing of a Nation
Label: Astalwerks
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Stealing of a Nation

Brooklyn's Radio 4 favors grand proclamations. On their previous album, Gotham, singer Anthony Roman snarled like Johnny Rotten as he declared that "new electric sounds rattle underground." What resulted in the next 47 minutes were sounds that were electric, but not exactly new, as Roman and his mates repeatedly referenced Primal Scream, the Clash and Gang of Four while sounding really pissed about shallow art, politically apathetic youth and the fact that dancing is illegal in many New York bars. On their new album, Radio 4 sound much the same. They're still mad and they still want to dance, even though they know their city could literally blow up at any time. There are plenty of funky grooves that are sexy and fun, but a sense of dread clouds everything. On standout track "State of Alert," Roman sings about how he "can't feel normal" with sirens going off all the time. He comes off as weirdly calm and powerfully defiant, but listening to his music can make you feel the opposite. Radio 4 seem determined to boogie down even as New York's burning down, but you have to wonder if it would make more sense to just leave town.

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